Okmulgee County News Source

Sweat handed 3 life sentences without parole

OKEMAH - Triple killer Kevin Sweat was handed three life terms without parole during a court appearance here on Friday morning.
Okfuskee County District Judge Lawrence Parish announced the sentence - the strong option available - following a disturbance in an adjourning room.  It's believed the disruption involved some kind of outburst on Sweat's part while in the bailiff's office. The convicted defendant may have been injured during the outburst.
Okfuskee County District Attorney Max Cook refused to comment on whether anyone was injured during the incident, but said Sweat was being tended to on the upper floor of the courthouse after announcing the delay.
Tulsa’s News on 6 reported that deputies donned plastic gloves after the incident. A photographer was taken into the restricted part of the courthouse, but there's been no official word on exactly what happened.
Sweat pleaded guilty earlier this year to three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and his fiancee, 23-year-old Ashley Taylor three years later.
Sweat attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw his earlier guilty plea. In a hand-written letter, the defendant said the primary reason he entered the plea was for an opportunity to talk to the Federal Bureau of Investigations about crimes he alleges the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations.
“Because of the FBI’s lack of finding, I am wanting to withdraw my plea,” he wrote. “If the state is confident in their case they got nothing to worry about.”
In recent weeks, a potential motive was suggested for the slayings of the two little girls. It indicated that a relative of one of the girls had sold drugs to Sweat’s brother and he ended up dying a drug-related death in a Henryetta motel room. The killer allegedly saw the girl walking along county line road and decided to get revenge by shooting her and the other girl with her. That motive has not been confirmed by law enforcement officials.

OHS ‘Pride of Okmulgee’ ends
marching season in Superior style

The Okmulgee High School Band (Showpiece of Okmulgee) has recently finished up a very successful marching season.  
The OHS students began practicing in late July, to learn basic fundamentals of marching band.  Once school started, they began practicing at 7:15 every morning until 9:00 AM.  
The Showpiece hosted their second annual “Okmulgee Bulldog Invitational Marching Contest,” on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  This year, the contest drew in 15 bands to compete for the title of Grand Champion.  The contest only had 11 bands last year, so the contest is growing.  
“We hope to have over 20 bands next year,” said Band Director Rusty Helms. “We would like to say thank you to all family, friends and businesses who donated their time and money for trophies and support for the contest.
“The band would also like to thank the Durant High School band for loaning their uniforms to our band this season.  Over the summer, the Okmulgee  band uniforms were burned in a fire and the Durant Band was quick to help support us this marching season.
The Showpiece also competed in the Oklahoma Bandmaster’s Association (OBA) State Marching Contest on Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Only 12 bands (out of more than 20) make the finals for the state contest.
“The Showpiece has now been a state finalist (in the top 12) for 5 years running,” the director said. “This is a huge accomplishment.”  
The Okmulgee High School’s final contest was the OSSAA Regional Marching Contest.  This contest is the first step in obtaining an OSSAA State Sweepstakes Award.  The band must receive a Superior Rating in order to compete for a sweepstakes.  The Okmulgee Band obtained superior ratings from all 3 judges, which is the highest award possible.  The band has now received a Superior Rating at  OSSAA Regionals for 5 years in a row.  
“We would like to once again thank all of the Okmulgee Administration, Staff, Band Boosters, Parents and Friends for their continuous support of our award winning program,” Helms said. “We will begin competing in concert band, in February,  for the next step of obtaining a sweepstakes.”

City Council approves bylaws for new Okmulgee Community Trust

The Okmulgee City Council approved the bylaws of the new Okmulgee Community Trust during their regular session held this week.
The purpose of the Okmulgee Community Trust will be to increase the quality of life of the residents of the City of Okmulgee and surrounding area.
According to the bylaws, the trust will do so “by receiving, investing, and expending funds for the support, promotion, development and growth of projects and programs in the City of Okmulgee and surrounding area.
“Of particular importance is the preservation and dissemination of educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities throughout the City and as a draw to a wider number of participants. In particular, the OTC will attempt to fulfill the general purposes as are substantially comparable to those set forth in the 1919 Council House election and the election of November 4, 2014, or as that purpose may be changed by the public votes of the city through an election.”
The council adopted the policies for the trust, but may see some modifications after the results of the November 4th election. The proposal before citizens seeks to remove the restrictions associated with the original bond which currently requires the city to use the funds only for Parks & Recreation or Historic Buildings.
The panel also approved lease agreement with Project H.E.A.R.T., Inc. for rental of the Senior Nutrition Center. The lease is  for $150 per month for fiscal year 14/15 and ends June 30. Some citizens had expressed concerns about being able to use the center after hours for events.
The council will take a look at perhaps adding to the budget next year to address those issues.
“If the council wants to have a program for the seniors that is beyond what the nutrition program contract has with their agency, we’ll look at it for next year’s budget,” said City Manager Roger Ballenger.
Agenda items approved were:
• Resolution calling for an Election to elect Councilmembers for Ward Three and Ward Four. Those posts are currently held by Terry Bemis and Rob Robertson.
• Ordinance removing references to the 2006 International Fire Code
• Ordinance amending the zoning map of the City of Okmulgee by rezoning of the property of 802 W. 8th from RS-2 (Residential-Single Family) to CG (Commercial General)
• Application for variance to the Okmulgee Municipal Code for the properties where the Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority is planning to build the jail annex on 7th Street.
• Addendum to the Collection Services Agreement between the City of Okmulgee and American Municipal Services to incorporate the utilization of the State of Oklahoma's Warrant Intercept Program (WIP) into the collection process. This will allow the city to receive monies from individual’s tax returns.
• Changes in the reimbursable travel and training expenses policy - The increases approved were: Breakfast, $8; Lunch, $12 and Dinner, $18.
• Warranty deed from Mary Kathryn Ducote for the real property located at 16th and Florida.
• The 2011-2012 Workers' Compensation Plan Refund Voucher Agreement from the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group.
• Proposed bylaws of the City of Okmulgee Community Trust.
• Purchase of a quit claim deed for the real estate which included parts of Lots 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8 of Block 79, Original Town of Okmulgee; Okmulgee County Homeless Shelter and Bob Horn.
During the session of the Okmulgee Municpal Authority, the members approved a contact with Bruce Sewell regarding utilities services.
Note: The Okmulgee Times will have further details about the upcoming vote on November 4th and what it means to the city and its residences. Be looking for the information in next week’s edition.
E-Waste Recycling Event
The City of Okmulgee is once again offering a FREE Electronic Waste Recycling event at The Okmulgee Recycling Center 301 E. 3rd St (NW corner of E. 3rd St. & N. Muskogee Ave.) to be held: Friday, November 7th from 10:00a.m. until 4:00p.m. and Saturday, November 8  from 9:00a.m. until 12:00p.m.

Timothy Barnett busy building movie resume
Okmulgee Times

Timothy Barnett is proud to see the release of the movie ‘Rudderless’ open in theaters across the nation.
Barnett worked as 3rd Electrician on the production crew of the William H. Macy film.
‘Rudderless’ is one of the recent movies on the Muscogee Nation member’s growing resume. He was also a crew member for ‘America’ (2014), a film directed by Dinesh D’Souza in association with Lionsgate.
On the local level, Barnett handle Grip/Lightning duties on Bob Hicks’ feature short film ‘The Dawes Commission.’
Barnett has earned crew credits for ‘Higher Mission’ in 2013, ‘The Jogger” in 2012, ‘Blast and Whisper’ in 2009, and Law and Disorder’ in 2009.  
Barnett also has impressive TV credits for various crew roles. Among the more well known are Food Network Show, Aquaman: Season One, South Beach: Season One, CSI Miami: Season 4, and The Great American Foot Race in 2002.
He has also worked on crews in the making of commercials for Osage Casino Skiatook, Chesapeake Energy, and First Fidelity.
In addition to his crew work, Barnett also doubles as an actor and a stunt specialist. His most recent role is as a Native Warrior on ‘America’ this year. Earlier roles were in Unconquerable, Running Deer, Blast and Whisper, Me One and Only and The New World. However, the biggest movie he has worked in was the 1991 feature film Last of the Mohicans. He was cast as a Native Warrior in the Huron Core - but also doubled as a stunt actor for the movie.
Barnett has also worked as an actor and or on students for several television shows. He appeared as a bar patron in 2009 in Naval Criminal Investigations. He appeared as a killer with a pistol in Conviction! episode #2. He was a Native Warrior and also performed stunts in the 1995 show Tecumseh: The Last Warrior. Barnett served as an Iroquois Warrior and also did stunts in 1993’s The Broken Chain. He was also cast as a Cheyenne Warrior in 1993’s Heaven and Hell: North & South.
When not working on a crew or as an actor or stunt man, Barnett can sometimes be seen in theater and live shows. He had a two-year run as Luke Warmwater, Bounty Hunter in Frontier City’s Wild West Show in Oklahoma City. He was also called upon to do stunt fights and high falls.
Barnett recently discussed his impressive career as an actor, stunt specialist and crew member for movies, TV shows and stage performances.
The son of Jackson Barnett was born in Harbor City, California, near Redondo Beach. He later lived in New Mexico and Florida before moving to Oklahoma during his school years in the 1980’s. He attended Star Spencer High School and was a 4-time state qualifier in tennis for the Bobcats.
The athlete never took up acting in the school’s drama department.
“It really never interested me,” he admits. “I thought I was too cool for it. But I regret it now. I wish I had taken those classes because it would help me now!”
However, Barnett was aware that there was acting in his family roots. His great-grandfather and grandmother were both actors who enjoyed major success in that field.
“My great-grandfather was Chief Rolling Cloud,” he said. Chief Rolling Cloud’s real name was Charles Bruner. Bruner was born in the Muscogee Creek Nation and served as one of the official interpreters for the state of Oklahoma and the federal government. He was the go-between for whites and Native Americans in legal cases involving tribal members.
As for his acting career, Chief Rolling Cloud appeared in nine movies or films. He first appeared in 1940 in the Winners of the West. He would also work in eight more movies, including in part the Flying Leathernecks in 1951, The Snows of Kilimanjaro in 1952 and The FBI Story in 1959.
“And my grandmother (Margarette Saracino) was in Jimmy Stewart’s first movie (in 1936) called ‘Rose Marie,’” Barnett said. “She played a native maiden in that. So it’s been in our family for a long time.”
Despite the family history with acting, Barnett did not consider that as a path to follow. He took concurrent classes at Oklahoma City Community College. He studied welding, commercial art, basic drawing and a few other subjects. However, once he graduated from high school, he left education behind and never looked back.
“I found cars and girls,” he said.
He also found alcohol - and it sucked him down a deep hole of alcoholism.
“I now have 18 years of sobriety,’ he said. “But in 1991, I was a ‘full-on’ alcoholic. There’s a difference between partying and being sick and I was sick. It was where I had to have it and I couldn’t put it away.”
At the time, Barnett was living with a girlfriend and had no real direction in his life. That’s when fate stepped in and provided an opportunity of a lifetime.
“My father brought this ad over and shows me the ad,” he recalls. “It said big budget motion picture looking for extras. So I just gave it a shot. I went down to Shawnee where they had the casting call. It was for ‘Last of the Mohicans’. I tried out down there just to say when it came out that I had tried out for that movie. But it worked out really well. They called me back and they said ‘don’t cut your hair’ because I was one of the top 13 picked for the film. Magua (played by Wes Studi) was the antagonist for the film. He’s got an elite 13 henchmen around him that are like his body guards and I was one of them.”
Barnett and three others jumped on a bus and headed to North Carolina. He spent the next eight months in the South - making $1,000 a week for the job. The pay soared to $4,000 to $5,000 per month during the time he was doing stunt work for the movie. His trainer was Retired U.S. Army Col. David Webster of the Many Hawks stunt school. Billy D. Lucas was one of the specialized trainers who taught Barnett and the others how to fight with rifles, tomahawks and knives. Other trainer taught the actors how to use the Flintlock muskets - and another trainer taught them how to signal each other like military training.
“It was wonderful (training),” Barnett said of the training. “And we were getting paid for it.”
He was a little surprised that the people across the world have outdated beliefs about the Native Americans living in Oklahoma and across the Southwest.
 “The biggest thing I learned out of it was that people think that we still live like that ... people in the other countries,” he said.  
 After returning from filming ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ Barnett returned to Oklahoma City. He was armed with all that training and was looking for some way to put it to use. That’s how he ended up working at Frontier City in live performances.
“That Wild West Gun Show always fascinated me,” he said.
He was invited to come down for their casting call. Once there, he met with a professional stunt trainer and learned yet another skill. It involves ‘high falls’ where an actor will jump or fall from a high location. He was shown a film of a guy on a roof of a build who jumps to the ground and runs away.
“Tim, that’s what you are going to be doing,” he said.
The actor looked at the stunt coordinator like he was crazy.
“I had no experience doing the high fall,” he said. “But they taught me how to do it and I excelled in that! The bad thing about it was the pay because I got like $12 per hour to do it. But I got the experience and the training and that was important to me.”
He is most proud of his work on the movie ‘The New World.’
“That was actually the first one I did sober. I was able to take it in instead of having tunnel vision. And I got to work with Christian Bale and Collin Farrell and also Q'orianka Kilcher. She has been a lot of work here lately. She’s in Oklahoma right now doing the movie Te Ata.”
Barnett worked for a couple of months on the movie ‘Higher Mission’ with producer Gray Frederickson.
“I’d see him all the time and I finally approached him one day and ask him if he ever work with any really talented Native American people and he said no. But after that he comes up to me one day and says ‘I’ve got a project coming up and I’d like for you to be in it.’ I wound up getting the principle role through him ... and it’s called ‘Unconquerable’ and is with the Chickasaw Nation. It’s about the migrations and when we met up with Hernando DeSota in 1842 ... and I lead him into battle and we fight with him and his guys. That was one of the first principles but it was a non-speaking role. That will be coming out soon. That was Part 1. But I believe they want to do Part 2, 3, 4, and 5 and get caught up to present day.”
Barnett credits a woman named Shirley Fulton Crumley for helping him find additional movie work. She handled the locations casting and extras casting in the ‘Last of the Mohicans’ movie.
 “She just took to our native people and kept putting us to work,” he said. “She said ‘do you want to come work this one ... do you want to work this one?’ She really, really helped a lot of us out. From there, I kind of went on and got my resume together and put it out there.”
Barnett was working his first time as a crew member for a concert for Lynard Skynard. He met Ricky Medlock, the group’s lead guitarist and also a former drummer. Medlock is one of the two original members of the band. He play drums on the band’s initial demo - with songs like Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama. Those same song would be recorded again later and become mega-hits.
 “Ricky is one of my best friends to this day and we keep in touch,” Barnett said. “Ricky is an actor too.”
The two buddies plan to work together on a feature film called ‘Homeland Nation.’ Famous actor Johnny Depp has expressed interest in being involved in the movie.
 “We are going to take that farther and implement more things to it that have to do with our people,” Barnett said.
 In a family note, the actor said he is very proud of his father - Jackson Barnett - for his outstanding work in the play “The Dawes Commission.’ Bob Hicks’ script has since been turned into a 38-minute short film that is in competition for an Oscar.
The ‘Dawes’ cast is back to performing the story in a stage play. The group will leave soon for Washington D.C. to give four appearances at the Smithsonian Institute.
As for Timothy Barnett, he plans to continue his career as both an actor and crew member for movies. He has a passion for movies that spotlight Native American stories - but just wants to work on a regular basis in a career that he loves.
The former tennis player has been bitten by the acting bug. He is proud to carry forward a tradition that began with his great-grandparents.

Barbara Nadine Walker
Barbara Nadine Walker, born September 24,1927 in Morris, Oklahoma and passed away, October 22, 2014 at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of Franklin Vaughn Groover and Dovie (Rainwater) Groover.
Nadine retired from C.R. Anthony's in Okmulgee and after retirement, she graduated from beauty school in 1989 and was a beautician at Betty's Cut and Curl, then Charlene's Beauty Shop and then June's Beauty Shop.
She is survived by her children , Jeannie Cavitt and husband Jerry of Burlington, Wisconsin; Barbara Red and husband Walter, of Stillwater, Oklahoma; Robert Walker and wife Joann of Okmulgee, Oklahoma and David Walker and wife Debbie of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Her seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren as well as 2 brothers and 4 sisters.
Memorial service will be held 2:00pm Monday, October 27, 2014 at McClendon-Winters Funeral  Home Chapel located at 303 E. Seventh in Okmulgee, OK.  (918) 756-1677
Memories, condolences, photos and videos may be shared with the family on Nadine’s Tribute Page of our website at www.mcclendon-winters.com

John Edward Winans
 John Edward Winans, a resident of Beggs, passed away Thursday, October 23, 2014 at the age of 53.
 No services are planned at this time.               
 Arrangements are under the direction of the Jackson Funeral Home and Crematory in Okmulgee. www.jacksonfhandcrematory.com

Willie Lee Scott
Willie Lee Scott, 98, passed away on October 21, 2014 in Norman, Oklahoma. She was born to William Wesley and Lucille Lee Gilbert in Earlsboro, OK. She graduated from Tecumseh High School before receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Education from East Central University. During her life she lived in Tecumseh, Wewoka, Seminole and Okmulgee where she spent most of her adulthood before moving to Norman to be closer to family. On May 25, 1941 she married Jackson Dennis Scott, Jr.  They were married for 49 years before his death in 1991. Willie worked as a school teacher for many years.  She was a member of the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church and the Oklahoma Retired Teachers Association.  She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her sisters, Rose Marian Wilson, Helen Lois Pope, Ruth Elaine Seaton and Barbara Louise Poole. She is survived by her son, Jack Scott and his wife Peggy; son, Bill Scott and his wife Julie; Grandson, Wesley Scott & Morgan; granddaughter, Carrie Scott and her fiancé Chad Ernst; grandson, Sam Scott and granddaughter, Carly Robinson and her great-granddaughter Lillie. Willie is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Peggy Peavy, Susan Elms, Joanna Seaton, Alan Poole, Parker Seaton, Barbie Woolkalis and Kathy Walker.
    Memorial Contributions may be made in her name to The McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church of Norman. A memorial Service were held In Oklahoma City on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in the Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Chapel.

 LaKiah Kinley-Ann Marris Tabbytite
    She was born to Teri Marris and Daniel Tabbytite on October 21, 2014 at 11:59 P.M.  LaKiah came a little early into our world, our Angel was with us a short time before Jesus called his Angel home.  She passed October 22, 2014.
    LaKiah proceeds in death with her uncle Ryan Marris.
    Survivors are Momma Teri Marris of Mounds, Daddy Daniel Tabbytite of Morris.  Maternal grandparents Bobby and Angie Marris, Uncle Tyler Marris all of Mounds. Uncle Shawn Jones, Uncle Blake Thornton and wife Kelly of Tulsa. Aunts Dannie Thornton of Mounds, Danikka Cole of Owasso, Kayla Fleetwood of Kansas. Maternal grandparents Doris Thornton of Jenks, late Terry Thornton, Bill and Dianna Marris of Okmulgee. Great great grandparents Bonnie Robin of Okmulgee and late George Robins, Jack Conners, Errest and Marie Beeler, Ray and Ruth Thornton.
    Paternal grandparents, Shawn and Bernadine Tabbytite of Okmulgee. Great grandparents are Abelo and Hazel Fields of Hichita, Ruby Freeman of Okmulgee, Uncle Steven, Dwayne, Sampson and Matthew Tabbytite, all of Okmulgee, Mekko Tabbytite and wife Crystal of Henreyetta, Soloman Acosta and wife Yolanda of California
    Pallbearers include: Blake Thorton, Tyler Marris, Sampson Tabbytite, Dwayne Tabbytite, Mason McClellah, Kayleb Brown.
    Honary Pallbearers: Matthew Tabbytite, James Powell.    
A graveside service for LaKiah will be held 2:00 P.M Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at the Morris Cemetery Chapel in Morris, Oklahoma.
Memories, condolences, photos and videos may be shared with the family on the Tribute Page of our website at www.mcclendon-winters.com